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Two mouse pointers?
Thread poster: Kevin Fulton
Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 16:37
German to English
Nov 3, 2005

I recently upgraded my computer and since the video card has dual outputs, I decided to keep my old monitor in addition to the new LCD device in order to take advantage of the "extended desktop" available under Windows XP Pro. It's certainly convenient having my work on one monitor and reference docs on the other, but having only one mouse pointer for scrolling / working is less than optimal. Plugging in a second mouse doesn't solve the problem.

Does anyone know of a utility/hack that will allow me to use 2 mice at the same time? Elsewhere someone suggested networking 2 computers, but space is very limited, and I'd rather not do that if possible.

All suggestions welcome.
Thanks, Kevin


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:37
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
It is not possible to have two active pointing devices Nov 3, 2005

Kevin Fulton wrote:
...having only one mouse pointer for scrolling / working is less than optimal. Plugging in a second mouse doesn't solve the problem.
...


Dear Kevin,
I use a dual monitor configuration for years now (could not work any more with a single monitor), but never had any problem using a single mouse.

I don't think it is possible to have two active and independent pointing devices at the same time. The second cursor in my opinion would only be confusing, as we only have one brain and one set of eyes to follow the cursor movement...

bye
Gianfranco



[Edited at 2005-11-03 16:26]


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xxxtlmurray
Local time: 16:37
English
Even if you could, it would not be a good idea Nov 3, 2005

Years ago I worked with IBM on human interface, and for a while ... a short while ... the idea of two monitors + two mice was toyed with. We found even those users who were comfortable with it lost considerable productivity time over single-mouse users and FAR greater time over keyboard users.

First of all, the keyboard simply blows away the mouse. If you want to crank out more work in less time, stay away from the mouse and practice practice practice using the keyboard.

Second, we found that by the time the brain has time to figure out which mouse to use, the single-mouse user had already navigated across the two monitors. (And the keyboard user beat the single-mouse user, too.)


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The Grendel
English
I'd rather be able to decide for myself. Jan 12, 2006

tlmurray wrote:

Years ago I worked with IBM on human interface, and for a while ... a short while ... the idea of two monitors + two mice was toyed with. We found even those users who were comfortable with it lost considerable productivity time over single-mouse users and FAR greater time over keyboard users.


Having used two computers Simultaneously on several occasions, I found no difficulty using two mice, even if it was on two different computers.

Having multiple mice on the same computer might not be feasible for some people, but I would prefer being able to make that choice on my own.
It is not necessary to have both mice active at all times.
I agree that for most everyday use, such as navigating windows or browsing websites, the second mouse would be fairly redundant.
But for applications such as Graphic design or Technical design the ability to use two pointing devices would more closely simulate true drawing.
I know that on the occasions that I have used AutoCAD versus using a Drafting table, I have missed the ability of using two hands to manipulate various tools.

Professional Drafters might find that Dual Mice greatly increase productivity over a single mouse.

tlmurray wrote:

Second, we found that by the time the brain has time to figure out which mouse to use, the single-mouse user had already navigated across the two monitors. (And the keyboard user beat the single-mouse user, too.)


While single tests can give an initial Idea of how users would react to new techniques. The human mind in general needs time to fully adapt to new methods in order to take full advantage of them. I'm sure that long term use of dual mice would show an increase in productivity over the single mouse in a majority of tasks. It's simply a matter of know how to use the second mouse.

When the first GUI interfaces came out and gave full use to the first Mice, many people were not sure how to use them either.
Now, most users couldn't get along without a mouse.
Should Dual mice become a reality the day will come when the new generation of computer users won't know what to do with a single mouse and will feel lost.

As for the Keyboard use beating single and dual mice. I agree with you there, With full knowledge of keyboard use and shortcuts, anyone could beat a mouse user at several tasks. However, the same percentage of users who have full command of the Keyboard make this fact mostly irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.
For practical purposes, in everyday use with normal users (Not IT professionals) the mouse will be and is a far greater tool than the keyboard, Due to it's ease of use and short learning curve for new users. But that is off point.

While Dual Mice may not be feasible for general use, They could prove very useful for specialized use. Personally I don’t think they should be rejected without a working model that can be tested more widely. While IBM may not have thought it worth while, I hope some other company does.

-Grendel


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xxxvoltage
English
You're missing the pointers! Jan 13, 2006

You're all missing the point about two pointers. With dual monitors I could be surfing the web while my wife checks her email or my son does his homework (right!)all on the same computer. It should be a no brainer for the techies. It's just another input device like keyboard or joystick. I would be first in line to buy!

voltage







[/quote]


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Templar
English
One mouse Two monitors Two pointers Nov 17, 2006

Im having a bit of a different problem actually. I use a program called UltraMon to manage my dual LCD monitors. The problem im having now is when i run a full screen application in one of the monitors it actually captures my mouse and doesnt let me move it back to the other screen. This happens mostly with games. The mouse gets limited to stay within the game's screen size. I understand that this has to happen otherwise it would make no sense to move your mouse outside the boundary and i know the game actually sets your resolution and it doesnt KNOW that another monitor exists.

UltraMon allows you to set a shortcut that lets you switch the mouse to the other monitor. Unfortunately that is still considered a moving action and the game will stop the mouse from leaving the monitor. In one game i was actually able to move the mouse from the one monitor to the desktop of the second monitor and the game didnt stop me from doing so. BUT as soon as i clicked somewhere outside the game, the game would minimize because it lost focus. U know how you press ALT-TAB or CTRL-ESC to force the game to minimize, well thats what happens when you move the mouse outside the boundary and click on something. The game loses focus and minimizes itself.

My idea was to trick the operating system into thinking that each monitor has its own pointer while such an application is running. This would allow the game to keep its pointer and another virtual pointer could run on the second monitor and click on things without causing the game to minimize. The problem is i have no idea if thats even possible. Once the game is quit i would like to be able to disable the "virtual" second pointer again so that i can use just the one pointer again across both desktops. It should be something like a shortcut button to enable the second pointer.

Oh well I guess Ill have to keep searching for a solution to that one!!


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tirengarfio
English
I didn't try yet but they say it works Mar 26, 2008

http://cpnmouse.sourceforge.net/

[Edited at 2008-03-26 14:35]


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worldview
English to Arabic
+ ...
try this when it is ready at sourcefourge.net Apr 17, 2008

http://sourceforge.net/projects/dualmousekeyboa/

they say it is gonna be a mouse and a keyboard that are dual.

I recall there were other sites that provided a working application too.


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Gellykat
Local time: 13:37
Another Important Use Mar 26, 2009

I didn't see it mentioned here, so I'll add it.

I am a game developer. Since the release of the Wii console, multi-player games featuring multiple cursors on screen at once have gained popularity. I am currently focusing on homebrew flash game and applications that can be played on Wii via the Internet Channel (Wii uses the Opera Browser).

But creating 2-player games without an official software development kit limits development to play-testing with one mouse. Software that supports at LEAST 2 mice would be appreciated. Alot.


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novatronix
Local time: 23:37
Complex analog commands Jan 25, 2010

For simple point and click operation the practical use of having two mouse pointers is doubtful (having a single user), but what about commands for drawing/editing? with two mouse one can think of very sophisticaded commands and tools that would allow complex operations in a second. This could enhace productivity a lot.

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M$ Multimouse Apr 15, 2010

Microsoft Multimouse is sort of a solution for this, its an SDK for educational tools but free so go for it! Anybody come up with a good solution for this tho let me know!

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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:37
Member (2004)
English to Polish
GlovePIE Apr 15, 2010

GlovePIE lets you have several mouse pointers (which might be controlled by several mice). However, there are serious limits imposed by the operating system itself (which was not created with multiple pointers in mind).

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2 mice Sep 16, 2010

thinking of a possible solution but i have yet to try it.

what if you used vmware to run another instance of windows and asigned a differnt hardware device to that mouse pointer?


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 03:37
Partial member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
I have 4 mouse pointers Sep 17, 2010

My PC has 4 monitors and I see 4 mouse pointers at the same time. The problem is that I has only one active finger at a time and cannot move many mice to different locations. My PC has only one active window at one time. This is why many pointers are useless in a PC. But for a mainframe computers, many mice and many monitors are allowable since many workstations do multi-tasking in multi-processor machine. This is rather redundant for one translator.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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